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Heart Month Tip #11: See your doctor

February 11, 2015

From Dr. Nathan Green, Cardiologist

It’s important to see your doctor every year, especially as you get older, if you’re overweight or sedentary, or if you have high-risk habits such as tobacco or excessive alcohol use. Building a relationship of trust with your doctor over time can help you adopt healthier habits, improve your heart numbers, and catch conditions early, when they’re most treatable.

And if Dr. Nathan Green was your doctor, he’d advise you to give up those high-risk habits and try to live life in moderation: You don’t have to run a marathon, but get regular exercise; you don’t have to give up your favorite dessert, but eat healthy most of the time. He’d also say, “Don't forget to eat an apple every day!”

Dr. Green’s on a mission

Dr. Green is part of a region-wide team committed to improving survival for people experiencing heart attack. Working together, local doctors, dispatch, emergency responders, transport teams, and medical personnel in emergency departments and cardiac catheterization (cath) labs continually refine their processes to get patients to treatment as quickly as possible.

When it comes to heart attack, “time is muscle.” Every minute treatment for heart attack is delayed, more heart muscle dies. So today’s paramedics perform ECG (electrocardiogram) in the ambulance or helicopter and transmit the results wirelessly to the emergency department—delivering vital information before the patient arrives. The patient is taken directly to the cardiac cath lab where the blocked artery causing the heart attack is opened.

Even with an average time that is well under the national goal, and consistently low mortality rates, St. Luke’s cardiac teams and our regional partners continue to look for ways to cut our time and improve our patients’ outcomes.

To learn more about heart attack and heart disease, join cardiologist Dr. Mark Crandall for a free seminar:

Mini Medical School: Understanding Heart Failure and Coronary Artery Disease

Thursday, February 19, 6 p.m., at St. Luke’s Magic Valley. Registration is recommended.

Learn the signs of heart attack